In Addition to SEL, ESSA Enables States to Focus on Arts as Measure of School Quality

In Addition to SEL, ESSA Enables States to Focus on Arts as Measure of School Quality

November 4, 2019

As school leaders ramp up efforts “to integrate social-emotional learning into the instructional day to improve learning and positive outcomes for students,” arts educators see invaluable opportunities to help accomplish SEL goals while meeting school goals and improving student learning. Among the states that have “specifically noted the arts as an element of school quality in their state accountability plans for ESSA,” Connecticut, Illinois, and Kentucky stand out as having pushed the envelope farthest in this regard, using the law’s broader definition of student success to highlight the importance of the arts in education. Along with SEL efforts, many school leaders see the arts as providing social and emotional benefits for students that can help boost academic performance.